A break from painting Hoplites to carve into the Arab-Israeli section of my lead mountain.
Those who pay attention will remember that I bought a whole load of kit in anticipation of playing a few games based on the 1973 Yom Kippur War rather than the 1967 Six Day War. The lists have been produced (available free in the CDS section of this website…although keep your eyes peeled as I’m about to update them with some extra info received from fellow Lardy Richard Naylor) and all that was needed was some of the new equipment available in 1973.
For the Israelis, this starts with a couple of units almost guaranteed never to get onto the table!
The first is a platoon of M3 TCM-20 Anti-Aircraft half-tracks:
These are very nice models: really easy to put together and paint. I sprayed them with GW Death Forest Green, washed in GW Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted and painted the crews and equipment. Only half of them have the aerial recognition “T” on the bonnet: I ran out of decals and will have to do the other two at a later date.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a bit harsh about the AA half-tracks never getting onto the table…but I’m almost certain that this next lot are fated to spend their lives “in the box”: jeeps with TOW launchers.
As their minimum range in CDS terms is about 6½’, they will either have to lurk right at the back of the table (I can manage 8’ at a push) or be some kind of table decoration. Perhaps I’ll play a Space Invaders scenario i.e. a mass of Egyptian tanks charging one or two Israeli TOW-mounting jeeps. Might be fun.
I hadn’t gamed with old friend Neil for at least 18 months, so it was a pleasure to get a date into the diary and push some lead around the table again.
We decided to have a battle set in the 1967 Six Day War between an Israeli and an Egyptian (UAR) force. The game would be a fictional encounter battle using the TooFatLardies Charlie Don’t Surf Vietnam rules adapted for the theatre and available elsewhere on this site.
Another amazing Rock the Casbah AAR from the archive of Anton Ryzbak's excellent blog Anton's Wargame Blog, this one dating back to 2013.
The scenario is an Israeli penetration into a PLO controlled area in Lebanon. Each side had specific, and potentially asymmetric, objectives as well as very different forces and capabilities...which made for a very interesting game.
This AAR is so big that it originally appeared as three separate posts on Anton's blog. You'll be pleased to hear that I've combined everything into one enormous report that is absolutely definitely well worth a look.
As an alternative to the reconnaissance platoon featured yesterday, the Israelis can field a platoon of anti-tank jeeps. These are basically a jeep with a 106mm Recoilless Rifle fitted on top of it.
Now this seems a little crazy to me. I can understand sticking a RR on top of a jeep in order to give your infantry a bit of bunker-busting support, but to actively promote said jeep as an anti-tank vehicle? Well, as I said, I think you'd have to be very, er, brave, to take on a UAR T-55 tank, or even one of the ex-Soviet WW2 vehicles, in one of these!
A platoon of four anti-tank jeeps. Figures are from Battlefront.
Another Saturday morning battle with the Benson boys...but what to play?
Well, my usual default here is to have a look at what hasn't been on the table recently (if ever!) so today's game must be Six Day War and must involve the Battlefront ruined fort. Add on some "tail" that's never been on the table, and Bob's your uncle: one quick scenario written!
A column of Israeli recovery vehicles has strayed too close to the front line. As they pass a ruined fort on top of a hill, they spot a force of Egyptian tanks heading towards them.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I have been avoiding finishing my third and final Israeli infantry platoon for a couple of weeks now.
I don't know what it is, but sometimes your painting mojo just escapes you, and no matter how hard you try, you just cannot pick up a brush and go back to those figures that, only days before, you couldn't wait to complete.
So it was with my final platoon of Israeli infantry. They got to the half-way stage, and then no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't face finishing them. First I ran out of black paint, then I decided to clear a couple of backlogged big items from my painting table, then I just had to paint my new Ironclad Miniatures terrain: the sorry tale goes on!
Finally, however, they are done: completed in between waiting for the undercoats and basecoats and basing on the windmill and chapel to dry!
That's a complete infantry company done now, along with all the armour I need for the moment: just the support weapons to go!
The last of the armour for my Israelis for the Six Day War: a couple of French-built, AMX-13 light tanks.
These are more of the extraordinary vehicles that the Israelis seemed to have used. Here, you take a light tank chassis, with its associated thin-as-paper armour, and you put the biggest gun you can possibly fit in the turret. Definitely a case of hoping you get the first shot off!
Here they are:
As usual, these are Battlefront models from their "Fate of a Nation" range. One thing to note: all the pictures on the BF site have the road-wheels as having tyres (i.e. should be black rubber). Looking at photos, however, I can see almost none where the road-wheels are a different colour to the rest of the undercarriage. So, as a compromise, I have painted the tyre onto the spare road-wheel on the front deck, but left them off those in position: the rubber has obviously been covered in paint or dust or something!
Nice looking models that go together and paint up well. Recommended.
I seem to be unusually committed to finishing my Israeli force for the Six Day War!
Here are three Magach "Battering Ram" tanks i.e M48 Patton's in Israeli service.
Lovely models: the only pain was cutting the decals in half to fit either side of the handrail on the turrets.
If anyone's interested, my interpretation of Six Day War Israeli tank colours is to undercoat in black, then block paint in GW Death World Forest, heavy brown wash, the dry-brush in GW DWF, then Vallejo Green-Grey.
Having spent the last few months building up my forces for the Six Day War, it was time to get the figures onto the wargaming table. For the first game, I decided to keep things relatively small and relatively vanilla: the Israelis would be attacking a UAR/Egyptian force defending a pumping station of some sort.
More 15mm Israeli troops hot off the production line: finished earlier this week just in time for today's game.
First up, the Company HQ: two Big Men, two 60mm mortar teams; two LMG teams and a two-man Forward Air Controller team.
Then I had a spare Patton tank. Not really a gripe, but why, when Israeli tank platoons are three strong, do Battlefront sell tanks in boxes of two?
Anyhoo, as it was a spare, I modelled it not as a standard Magach 'battering ram' tank with the 90mm cannon, but as the up-gunned 105mm version. The Israelis had converted about a company's-worth before the start of the war.
The next tanks for my Six Day War Israelis to roll off the production line are the M51 Ishermans:
Now these really do look slightly ridiculous! Not the models, they are great, but the enormous gun mounted in the equally enormous turret.
As a response to the heavier Soviet tanks gifted to the Arabs, the Israelis mounted cut-down French 105mm guns (i.e. the guns were originally even longer!) onto heavily modified M4A1 Shermans with the HVSS suspension. The turrets had to be up-sized, and the tank's weight increased by some 20% as well.
Again these are Battlefront models from their Fate of a Nation range.
So now that my decals have finally arrived, here are the first of the Israeli tanks for the Six Day War to roll off the production line.
They are a couple of M50 Sherman tanks:
These are Sherman Easy Eights up-gunned with the French 75mm CN-75-50 gun from the AMX‑13 light tank in a modified 75mm turret. By the start of the Six Day War, the Israelis had about 180 of these "French" Shermans available.
The models are from Battlefront's Fate of a Nation range, bought in their 40%-off sale. The only pain is how to mount the company indicator on the toolboxes on the side of the main body: even with decal softener these took some time to place. Nice models, though.
Here's the second platoon of Israeli infantry finished for my Six Day War mechanised infantry company.
It's always a hard slog through the main infantry element of any new force: a minimum of about a hundred 15mm infantry is always going to take time...but that's two of the three platoons done now, so given command, weapons platoons etc, I'm about half way through.
Now that the UAR/Egyptian forces are just about done for the 6DW, it is time to start on their opponents: the Israelis.
I've actually painted six Israeli tanks of various types, but haven't been able to get the decals needed to finish them off, so the honour of being the first Israeli unit finished goes to the first platoon of a mechanised infantry company:
These are Battlefront figures, undercoated in a light desert colour, washed with a dark brown ink, and then highlighted with various shades of flesh and greens. It's an effect that looks a bit rough and ready up close, but works really well on the tabletop and in AAR photographs.
Only another two platoons, the weapons platoon, and all the support weapons to go!
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.